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  • MyDoorHandle receives Google invitation to Blackbox Connect

    Dylan Kohlstadt and Steven Ellis from the Cape Town based startup MyDoorHandle have been invited to attend the Google for Entrepreneurs and BlackBox.vc entrepreneurial accelerator programme in San Francisco. This is an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs to gain and share valuable knowledge of the Valley. As part of a sponsorship by Google for Entrepreneurs, the Blackbox Connect is a two-week immersion programme where non-US based startups get the opportunity to be inspired, grow and connect with the top VC's and game changers in Silicon Valley. Part of Bandwidth Barn's 88mph acceleration programme, MyDoorHandle is a location-based service that allows...

  • Company Office

    Merchant solutions could be the answer to mobile money’s last mile issue

    The mobile money agency system has made huge progress in increasing access to financial services and reducing the cost of transactions, though in terms of serving the “last mile” - those wishing to make single dollar transactions - there is still much to be done. But the answer may be staring us in the face. In disrupting the traditional financial system, with its reliance on formal tellers and ATMs, mobile money and its agency model have taken off across Africa. According to Frost & Sullivan, the value of mobile money transactions in Sub-Saharan Africa reached USD 656 million in 2014,...

  • 5 key differences between a private and public company

    There comes a stage in every company's lifecycle when going public makes sense. It might be to maintain growth, pull off more aggressive expansion, or bring on new shareholders to gain access to resources and knowledge. Before doing so, a startup (or private company) should give some thought to the differences between a private and public company, especially in terms of what analysts and investors take into consideration when valuating. The term "private company" covers an array of businesses; all the way from single-employee (non-incorporated) to startups, to former public companies who became private after a buyout. This is how...

  • WPP confirms Native acquisition

    It has been confirmed that global advertising powerhouse WPP is buying digital agency Native, a story Ventureburn first reported on in September last year. At the time Native MD Jarred Cinman denied that the two companies were in talks. “I don’t know where you’re getting that information from, but it’s absolutely not true,” he said. “Look, in this industry people are always going to talk to each other, but that’s no reason to prematurely sell my business,” he said at the time. Cinman today tweeted: Well there it is. At last the next exciting chapter of our journey has begun...

  • Savannah Fund’s first graduating class: Ahonya, Kola Studios & Safaridesk

    Kenyan-based accelerator Savannah Fund has graduated its first class of startups in Africa. Savannah Fund is a seed capital fund that specialises in US$25 000-US$500 000 investments in early stage high growth tech (specifically web and mobile) startups in sub-Saharan Africa. The Fund is a partnership between Mbwana Alliy, Paul Bragiel and iHub founder Erik Hersman and is touted as "a fund for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs". The announcement came on the eve of Pivot East, an annual mobile startups competition and conference held in a East Africa. According to Savannah Fund, the three chosen startups from Ghana, Uganda and Kenya who...

  • Pivot East: the social media stream

    Want a glimpse inside East Africa's startup scene? Pivot East is a good place to start. The annual conference and startup competition is currently underway in Kampala, Uganda to help drive mobile entrepreneurship in the region and beyond. The two-day event includes a mix of interesting speakers, fireside chats with experts and pitching sessions with startups which are hoping to make an impact in everything from entertainment to enterprise, finance and education. It's run by incubator and training collective m:lab East Africa, which is aiming to grow quality startups in the region and improve their chances of investment. We'll...

  • wiGroup: the total mobile POS package

    Mobile payments and transactions is a huge market, especially in South Africa and Africa where people are more likely to have an internet-connected phone than a credit card. The number of apps that facilitate transactions is staggering. Because of this, entering the space is tough for any competitor. Taking this into account, one company is trying to drive innovation rather than join the noise by creating a platform that links apps to retailers. This is wiGroup. Calling itself a mobile technology business, wiGroup is bridging the gap between retailers and app developers with a platform that connects them at the...

  • 6 things your corporate job can teach you about running your own company

    Most entrepreneurs sneer at the idea of working for a big corporate or medium sized business on the path to becoming the next big thing. It's not popular these days to have a "boring" day job that doesn't involve the hustle and bustle of being an entrepreneur. But before you judge the corporate drones and feel sorry for them and their life choices, it seems fair to have a look at some of the lessons being a part of a corporate can teach you about running your own company and succeeding. Being involved in a big company or simply...

  • Crowdfunding platform Thundafund rolls in over SA startup landscape

    South Africa's crowdfunding space expanded earlier this month with the launch of Thundafund, the Cape Town-based crowd-powered startup funder. While crowdfunding in Africa has yet to reach the heights of similar initiatives in the US and UK, Thundafund founder, Patrick Schofield is bullish on the model's future on his home continent. "Crowdfunding is going to fundamentally change the way we start many new enterprises in South Africa. Crowdfunding allows the many to vote with their wallets to decide what is made in our world. Thundafund will be driving this movement in creative and innovative development in South Africa and Africa." On...

  • Building BRCK: the story behind Ushahidi’s mobile internet router

    Why do we rely on equipment made for Berlin, Orlando and Tokyo when the conditions we have in Nairobi, Lagos or New Delhi are completely different? That's why we need something like the BRCK: the easiest, most reliable way to connect to the internet, anywhere in the world, even when you don’t have electricity. It's currently on Kickstarter, where we’re asking for your on taking it from prototype to production. The BRCK is simple, and it came from us asking: “How would we design a redundant internet device for Africa?” It would need the following: A router for 20 people With 8+ hours...

  • Rocket Internet’s Easy Taxi secures $15m funding round

    Latin American taxi app Easy Taxi has just secured a US$15-million funding round from its original backer Latin America Internet Holding. According to the company, which is a product of German startup clone factory Rocket Internet, it is one of the largest internet investments in the region in the past few months and shows that investors are confident in its performance. The app has expanded across Latin America since its founding in Brazil in 2011 and plans are apparently afoot to take it to an even wider market. Dennis Wang, Head of International Expansion of Easy Taxi: “When we started the...

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